PM Narendra Modi of India Lies to G7 Leaders
The G7 leaders did not dare to challenge Modi’s falsehood about Indian democracy, because most of these leaders are driven by their greed.
By Rakesh Raman
The Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi is known for telling lies to the people of India. But in his evolution as a liar at the world stage, now Modi has started deceiving the global leaders by spewing blatant lies.
When Modi was called to speak in a session on open societies at the recent G7 Summit (11–13 June 2021), Modi said in his virtual interaction that “democracy and freedom were a part of India’s civilizations ethos.” He gave the impression that India is still a democratic country under his leadership. But this is an outright lie, as India has become a full-fledged dictatorship state under Modi’s 7-year rule.
Credible global reports claim that India is no more a democratic country. V-Dem Institute’s Democracy Report 2021 reveals that India has lost its status as an electoral democracy, as the government led by Modi is imposing various restrictions on multiple facets of democracy such as civil society and free speech.
The V-Dem report – released in March – says that Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in India’s 2014 elections and most of the decline occurred following BJP’s victory and their promotion of a Hindu-nationalist agenda.
The V-Dem report came close on the heels of the Freedom House research report “Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege” which has downgraded India’s status from “Free” to “Partly Free” due to the authoritarian actions of PM Modi and his Hindu nationalist government.
The leaders who participated in the G7 Summit know that India under Modi is an autocratic nation. But they preferred to accept Modi’s false rhetoric delivered during the Summit. In fact, the lawmakers of many G7 nations (UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy) have formally admonished Modi’s dictatorial tendencies.
A recent parliamentary debate in the United Kingdom (UK), for example, has discussed the human rights violations issue in Kashmir, which has been occupied by the Indian security forces. The debate, organized by Labour Party’s Sarah Owen, included the participation of cross-party British MPs.
Earlier, Liam Byrne – a Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Labour Party – had warned PM Modi that he should not commit human rights violations in Kashmir. He led a protest of thousands of people with the message to Modi: “You cannot silence the people of Kashmir.” Byrne had also started an online petition for the House of Commons about the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir.
Disturbed by the repressive actions of the Modi government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also expressed her concern over the persisting human rights violations being committed by India in Kashmir. During her 2019 visit to India, Merkel raised the Kashmir issue and the hardships that the people of Kashmir have been facing. Nearly 80% of the people of Kashmir are Muslims.
Since Modi is a communal Hindu demagogue, he and his government have taken a number of hostile steps to oppress Muslims in India. These include construction of a large Hindu temple after demolishing a Muslim mosque in Ayodhya, introduction of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) against Muslims, and the abolition of Article 370 in Kashmir to deprive Muslims of their rights.
Moreover, the BJP leaders frequently insult Muslims in their speeches and statements, and the Hindu mobs of Modi’s party attack Muslims to kill them mercilessly and damage their properties. In the Delhi pogrom of 2020, for example, nearly 40 Muslims were murdered by rioters who were supported by Delhi Police which is controlled by the Modi government.
Modi was also an accused in the 2002 Gujarat massacre in which thousands of Muslims were murdered, when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. After the mass murder in Gujarat, U.S. had banned Modi’s entry and canceled his visa. It was alleged that Modi was responsible for large scale violence in Gujarat, although complicit Indian courts exonerated Modi.
Although Modi touts democracy, he has demolished every shred of democracy in the country. Today, hundreds of journalists, activists, students, and others are languishing in Indian jails under fabricated charges because they tried to raise their voice against the dictatorship of Modi.
The authoritarian Modi government also imposes frequent restrictions on Internet communications. Global reports reveal that India has become the world leader in Internet shutdowns. “Freedom on the Net 2020: The Pandemic’s Digital Shadow” report released by democracy-protection organization Freedom House says that the Indian authorities increasingly pressured social media companies such as Twitter and streaming platforms like Netflix to remove content that was critical of the government’s Hindu nationalist agenda.
The consequences of Modi’s authoritarianism are reflected in rampant corruption, joblessness, lawlessness, injustice, and environmental crisis across the country. Modi also completely failed to manage the coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis, as India has become the global hotspot of infection and posing health threats to the entire world.
While Modi blabbered about India’s democracy at the G7 Summit, he and his government are being censured by leaders from across the world for their dictatorial actions. Last year, for example, four U.S. Senators had expressed their deep anguish over the continuing human rights violations in India.
In their letter written to the then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Democratic as well as Republican Senators raised concerns about the trouble in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA introduced by the Modi government.
In October last year, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Maria Arena (S&D, BE), expressed deep concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in India under the Modi government.
“It is with great concern that I have been observing the rule of law deteriorate in India, which is the very cornerstone of our special relationship,” Ms Maria Arena said in an official statement.
She added that the marginalized communities, religious minorities, particularly Muslims, a vocal and vibrant civil society and critics of government policies have been under increasing pressure for a long time.
Her statement as a member of the European Parliament listed a number of cases in which the Modi government is committing grave atrocities and human rights violations on the Indian citizens.
While the Modi government is being accused of human rights violations and crimes against humanity by the global human rights organizations, UN agencies, and world leaders, Modi is still being allowed to tell lies about democracy in India.
In a debate held in the House of Commons in March, a number of British MPs raised serious concerns over the dictatorial rule of PM Modi in India. Almost all – 17 out of 18 MPs – concluded in about 90 minutes of discussion which was streamed live that Modi and his colleagues in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have completely destroyed democracy in India.
Among other leaders, President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and Canadian Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau have all condemned human rights violations by the Modi government.
But the G7 leaders did not dare to challenge Modi’s falsehood about Indian democracy, because most of these leaders are driven by their greed. They have some selfish commercial interests in the Indian market, which has already lost its sheen because of Modi’s reckless policies.
Although the G7 leaders are ostensibly trying to promote democratic principles across the world, it is highly unfortunate that they are accepting Modi’s false assertions of democracy in India. If these leaders really respect democracy, they must goad and guide Modi so that democracy is restored in India.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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